Recently, artificial life has been created with artificial materials and methods. Life can be created when genomic DNA molecules are integrated in liposomes containing biochemical reactions for biogenic needs. However, it is not yet known whether the integration of these parts will be able to occur in nature and constitute a living system. I planned to regenerate bacteria from biologically active liposomes by inserting genomic DNA using only natural materials and methods. Minicells of Escherichia coli, containing plasmids and activated SOS proteins, act as protocells. Four new E. coli strains were regenerated from minicells by inserting the genomes by using the system for conjugation between F - and Hfr strains. Cells of the four regenerated strains showed the same genetic markers as the two genome donors. Pulse-field gel electrophoresis of their genomes showed admixing of those of both donors. In addition, the genomes of the four regenerated strains had chimeric genome of the two donors. These results show that synthesis of life can occur in nature without artificial arrangement.
Kobayashi, H. (2018). Regeneration of Escherichia coli from minicells through lateral gene transfer. Journal of Bacteriology, 200(9). https://doi.org/10.1128/JB.00630-17